It will fly to the other side of the Earth, bypassing all air defense and missile defense lines.
You've probably heard this history... Cruise missile "Petrel" (index 9M730, NATO code designation - "Skyfall"). The main surprise of the Burevestnik is that a flight over a distance of tens of thousands of kilometers is possible without a nuclear reactor. A conventional turbojet engine running on high-calorie synthetic fuel (decilin, Jet Propellant JP-10) or aviation kerosene can handle it.
It is this conclusion that follows from the characteristics of known samples aviation and rocketry. Facts, ratios and figures. This is the next story in two episodes.
Episode one. About babies who can fly unimaginable distances
The turbojet engine TRDD-50 is only 4% of the launch weight of the Russian cruise missile Kh-101. In other words, the engine of a two-ton rocket with a speed of 800 km / h can be lifted by hand (82 kg).
Photo: Evgeny Erokhin / missiles.ru
TRDD-50 develops 450 kg of thrust (according to other sources - 360). Dozens of times less than jet aircraft engines. Nevertheless, these values are enough for a subsonic cruise missile (CR) flight.
First of all, KR are distinguished by low aerodynamic resistance. The Kh-101 is kept in the air only by a pair of folding "petals". The span of such a wing is 4 meters. The aircraft has neither takeoff nor landing modes. The faster it "lands", the worse it is for the enemy.
For a uniform flight at a speed of about 800 km / h, in the absence of any need to reach the maximum angles of attack or to perform maneuvers with a large overload, a miniature engine with a thrust of a couple of hundred kilograms is enough for cruise missiles.
This results in high fuel efficiency and long range.
In terms of fuel consumption, such a KR is more consistent with the parameters of trucks than those characteristic of jet aircraft. The specific consumption of 0,71 kg / kgf * hour in the maximum mode means that the X-101 rocket consumes only 40 liters of liquid fuel per 100 km of flight. In practice, in cruise mode, the indicator should be even lower.
As a result, the Kh-101 is able to fly at a distance of 5 km!
In the sources, there is a value of 1 kg (approximately 250 liters) of decilin fuel. Fuel is more than half of the X-1's launch mass. The rest is lightweight electronics units, a body, a miniature engine and a solid warhead (350-101 kg).
Discussion about cruise missiles is impossible without Russian "Caliber"
Of greatest interest is the ZM-14 modification used against ground targets. "Caliber" is much more compact and lighter than the Kh-101. In open sources, the value of the starting mass is 1 770 kg. At the same time, the dimensions of the "Caliber" allow it to be launched through a standard 533-mm torpedo tube.
1 kg is not an indicator for comparison. Unlike the aircraft-based Kh-770, the Caliber takes off from the surface (or from under the water). He must independently pick up speed, at which a wing with a span of 101 meters will be able to keep the rocket in the air. At least two hundred kilograms of the starting mass was spent on a detachable solid-propellant booster. It is incorrect to consider the accelerator as the first stage due to its extremely short operating time.
The cruising section of the flight with a length of more than 2 kilometers takes place with the participation of a small-sized turbojet engine TRDD-000, the characteristics of which are described at the beginning of the article.
We see similar specific indicators. The rocket, whose mass after separation of the accelerator is about 1,5 tons, is capable of flying a distance of 2000-2600 km. Greater value applies to the version with thermonuclear combat equipment.
For further comparison, we will focus on the "Caliber" with a conventional warhead weighing 450 kg, which corresponds to the mass of the X-101 warhead. Engine of the same type. Similar layout. Subsonic speed. The starting booster is not taken into account for the "Caliber".
The cruise missile with a launch weight of 1 kg has a flight range of 500 km.
The cruise missile with a launch mass of 2000–2400 kg has a flight range of 5 km.
The Kh-101 has a number of obvious advantages. Unlike the "Caliber", the appearance of the X-101 is more subordinated to the requirements of aerodynamics and stealth technology. An aircraft missile is devoid of the need to withstand heavy loads arising from a launch using a solid propellant booster. And its design is not designed to withstand water pressure during deep launches. As a result, in the presence of the same engine and a similar warhead, the X-101 has twice the amount of fuel. And at least 2,5 times longer flight range!
In each case, giant distances are described. 2 km is enough to fly in any direction over all of Europe. 000 km - provide a transatlantic flight. Intercontinental range! Let me remind you that we are talking about aircraft with minimum weight and dimensions. In fact - flying ammunition. Without any exotic technology. Massive weapon.
If we put all the facts together, we come to the following conclusion.
In the absence of strict requirements for weight and dimensions (launch through a torpedo tube, suspension on a multi-position launcher inside the Tu-160 bomb bay), it is possible to create a cruise missile with a launch mass of 5-10 tons with a flight range of tens of thousands of kilometers... Yes, you need another starter accelerator. For example, "Caliber" - this is 10-15% of the starting mass. Doesn't change the picture.
10 tons? When launched from a ground installation?
According to domestic traditions, it looks modest. Consider, for example, the X-22 anti-ship missile 11 meters long and weighing 5 kg. Which nevertheless was placed under the wing of the aircraft.
Why did the six-ton X-22 fly only 600 km?
The answer is more than three speeds of sound. The engine was a liquid-propellant rocket engine - 1 kg of fuel and 015 kg of oxidizer!
We have just discussed the 40 liters per 100 km consumption, which the Caliber flies in about 7,5 minutes. The X-22 engine used a turbo pump with a flow rate of 80 liters per second!
Equipped with a small-sized turbojet engine and using the "Caliber" flight profile, such a rocket would fly over the ocean.
The first part of the article was devoted to cruise missiles: what prospects are open to the creators of this weapon.
It's time to turn to the other side of the issue and talk about the existing military aircraft with an autonomous flight range comparable to the Burevestnik nuclear missile.
For example, the RQ-4 Global Hawk drone with a range of 22 km.
Empty weight - 6 800 kg. Maximum takeoff - 14 600 kg. The volume of the fuel tank is 7 847 liters. The engine is a Rolls-Royce F137 turbojet, similar to those used in modern business jets. Engine thrust - 3 400 kgf.
Maximum speed - 629 km / h; cruising - 570 km / h. The flight duration is 32 hours.
Readers will surely be outraged by the example and size of the "Global Hawk". Too abrupt transition from cruise missiles to a device with a length of 14,5 meters and a wingspan of almost 40 meters!
The disproportionately large wing of the Global Hawk is a consequence of its appointment. It was not created for political advertising and the Guinness Book of Records. This is a strategic scout that needs to climb to an altitude of 18-20 km in order to see as much as possible from there.
The wing has a high aspect ratio and an aerodynamic quality equal to 33, as in a sports glider. The engine roars at maximum, the wings cling to the thin air ...
The RQ-4 nose cone conceals a 9,5 cubic meter compartment filled with reconnaissance equipment. Radar, cameras, sensors, communication antennas. Almost 700 kg payload.
Further, it should be noted that the RQ-4 is a reusable aircraft. Which required the presence, for example, of a retractable tricycle chassis.
Purely hypothetical. If you remove all the "superfluous", spend part of the released load on the warhead, and the rest - on additional fuel, then the resulting American "Petrel" (Cormorant) will show an unlimited flight range. At the very least, it will exceed any required distance on the scale of this planet.
Leave jokes aside. Now let's talk about the serious.
If you do not climb the extreme 20 kilometers, then flying at a subsonic speed at high altitudes is energetically more profitable than flying at an altitude of 100 meters. The Global Hawk example did not include a proposal to build a cruise missile based on high-altitude reconnaissance principles. First of all, the example proves the performance of the turbojet engine and onboard systems of modern aircraft for tens of hours in autonomous mode.
The Global Hawk has been flying since 1998 and is significantly outdated by now. Its RQ-180 receiver retained the same set of flight characteristics, but was made according to the "flying wing" scheme. The stake is on less visibility, at which it makes sense to talk about the appearance of some combat stability.
In any case, serial Drones with 700 kg of payload capable of flying from the North to the South Pole, once again give reason to doubt the usefulness of a nuclear reactor for flights in the atmosphere.
Instead of an afterword. A rocket with a launch weight of 20 tons?
TRDD-50 develops only 450 kg of thrust (according to other sources - 360). Dozens of times less than jet aircraft engines ...
The thrust generated by a turbojet engine, the size of a travel bag, becomes an extremely difficult task when trying to obtain such thrust using a nuclear reactor.
450 kgf at a cruising subsonic speed of 270 m / s means a power of 1,2 MW. The obtained value is almost 10 times higher than the thermal power of the small-sized reactor "Topaz-1". A really created sample that was used on space satellites. In this case, the mass of "Topaz" was 1 ton.
It is not surprising that when assessing the size of the Petrel, the following statements appear:
“The dimensions of the newest rocket are one and a half to two times larger than the“ one hundred and first ”. Unlike the latter, the wings of the "Petrel" are placed not below, but on top of the fuselage. Also in the video you can see the characteristic protrusions. Most likely, it is there that the air is heated by a nuclear reactor ... The mass of the Burevestnik is several times, and probably an order of magnitude, greater than that of the Kh-101. "
("Military Industrial Courier", 2019)
("Military Industrial Courier", 2019)